A love of horses, a heart for helping and an unwavering faith led one woman on a quest to blend her passions into a nonprofit that touches lives daily.
Lynn Turner’s lifelong journey culminated nine years ago with Heavenly Hooves, a nonprofit that provides equine assisted therapy to individuals with physical, psychological, or emotional disorders.
Along with her husband Russell “Rusty” Turner, Lynn founded the program incorporating their Christian values, starting with just one student and one horse, on their 60-acre farm in Farmersville.
Within just a few years, demand for Heavenly Hooves’ equine therapy for individuals with a physical, psychological, or emotional diagnosis grew steadily because of its location, referrals, little-to-no waitlist and services provided free of charge.
Along with student participation, the stable of Heavenly Hooves horses has grown to include 16 horses, including some ponies and two Belgians, that have been rescued, adopted, or purchased directly from a trainer.
“We have several we’ve adopted from kill pens that ended up being wonderful horses,” she said.
The 8–12-week sessions are taught to students of all ages and disabilities on Monday, Tuesday and Friday evenings, all day Saturday and Sundays after church.
“We’re 100% volunteer based,” Lynn said. “It’s a commitment that takes dedication.”
Heavenly Hooves’ team of 15-17 volunteers work with up to 20 students each week, weather permitting, and require at least a three-person team to aid one student.
Sessions last one hour and include everything from grooming, tacking up, leading, riding, taking tack off and putting it away.
“Everything we do in the session, we want to involve every student in every aspect,” Lynn said. “Some don’t do it [all steps] week-to-week because they need the physical activity more and we want to make the most of our time.”
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